The Living World
21 Topics | 21 Quizzes

Strategies to Manage and Respond to Tectonic Hazards

Monitoring

Active volcanoes are carefully monitored using a range of tools and techniques, including:

  • Seismometers to detect earth movements specific to volcanic activity
  • Tiltmeters and lasers to measure ground deformation related to magma movement
  • Gas sensors to detect changes in gas concentrations
  • Remote sensing through satellites to identify heat increases within volcanoes

Earthquake monitoring utilises:

  • Seismometers to detect earth movements associated with seismic activity
  • GPS technology is used to measure tiny movements in the Earth’s crust that might signal an approaching earthquake
  • Acoustic devices are used to detect the sounds of underground movement that could indicate seismic activity

Prediction

With the help of these monitoring tools, volcanic activity can now be predicted with higher accuracy. This allows authorities to establish evacuation and exclusion zones. However, despite these advancements, the precise timing of eruptions is still a significant challenge.

While the exact date, time, or location of earthquakes still cannot be predicted, scientists use statistical methods based on past seismic activity to calculate probabilities for future earthquakes. This allows local authorities to make more informed when preparing for potential earthquakes.

Protection

Protection measures for volcanic hazards include:

  • Establishing evacuation and exclusion zones to relocate people from at-risk areas
  • Strengthening roofs to withstand the weight of falling ash
  • Providing education and drills to teach people how to protect themselves during earthquakes

To provide protection against earthquakes, protection strategies involve:

  • Earthquake-resistant building designs
  • Sea walls may be constructed to defend against tsunamis associated with undersea earthquakes

Planning

Hazard mapping and risk assessment are crucial in identifying areas most prone to tectonic hazards. This information helps with making decisions on relocating people, restricting construction in vulnerable areas and focusing on important infrastructure like buildings and transportation routes.

Effective planning also involves the development of evacuation plans, education programs, emergency supplies stockpiling and training of emergency services.

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